Cryptocurrency has come in from the cold and the outer fringes of financial thinking. Indeed, it is so alluring that companies are rushing to be at the forefront of what is seen as the next big financial revolution.
As Cointelegraph says, “With mainstream society increasingly accepting Bitcoin (BTC) as a means of payment, financial firms are increasingly seeking to offer a frictionless and convenient means for consumers to make payments using crypto.”
Square is one example. The San Francisco-based mobile payments provider announced at the end of June that users of the company’s Cash App can now receive bitcoin from external wallets, with certain restrictions; they can’t receive BTC over the value of $10,000 within a seven-day period.
Moreover, while Cash App users have been able to buy or sell BTC since 2018, a functionality facilitating payments between friends and family has been notably absent.
Square’s move has resulted in more competition between payment providers. Revolut, a United Kingdom-based fintech startup, is offering a platform featuring payment processing services, commission-free stock brokerage and foreign currency exchange. However, users are only able to transfer cryptocurrencies within the Revolut network and cannot receive deposits from external wallets.
Bakkt is planning to roll out an upcoming mobile digital asset wallet application. The app, dubbed Bakkt Pay by anonymous sources, is expected to launch by the end of 2019.
And in June, Singapore-based cryptocurrency payments firm, TenX, celebrated its fourth birthday by announcing it had become the first company funded through an initial coin offering to receive an e-money licence. This was issued by the Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority, and allows the company to provide “electronic money institution” services across the European Economic Area (EEA).
Coinbase also announced that its Visa debit card had been made available in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands.
The growth of cryptocurrency payment platforms is pushing the ecosystem toward mainstream adoption, and popular payment apps could prove to be a centralising force, as a handful of major companies compete for consumer loyalty.